SiGe Semiconductor Targets $144M IPO

A Massachusetts tech firm is testing the IPO waters. Andover, MA-based SiGe Semiconductor, which makes radio frequency chips for wireless communications, filed papers with the SEC yesterday for a proposed $143.8 million initial public offering.

The firm has not set a date for the proposed offering.

SiGe, founded as a Canadian company in 1996, has never reported an annual profit and had racked up an accumulated deficit of $114.9 million as of Jan. 1, 2010. The firm sells chips that enable wireless connectivity for personal computers, mobile devices, cellular networks, and home entertainment systems. Its technology has been used in products from major names in these markets such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Nintendo, Panasonic, and Samsung, according to its SEC filing.

Last year, SiGe had an annual loss of $4.4 million and total revenue of $82.6 million, which was down from its $96.9 million in 2008 revenue. However, the firm’s business has rebounded in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. During the quarter ending April 2, the firm reported a $154,000 profit on total revenue of $20.7 million, compared with a net loss of $2.6 million on revenue of $16.4 million during the same quarter of 2009.

The company has raised a total of $130.7 million through the sale of preferred stock, and as of April 2 it had $10 million in cash or liquid assets in the bank, according to its regulatory filing. As of April 2, the firm had 132 employees, with 73 of those workers focused on research and development. Its primary facilities are in Andover and Ottawa, Ontario, yet it also lists operations in California, England, and Hong Kong.

SiGe’s top shareholders are Needham, MA-based Prism Venture Partners (19.8 percent), funds associated with the Canadian private equity firm VenGrowth Asset Management (15.5 percent), New York City-based private equity firm W Capital Partners (11.2 percent), and Toronto Dominion Investments (6.5 percent). Sohail Khan, the company’s chief executive, owns 5.6 percent of the firm’s stock.

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